I’m a big fan of Google services – search, blog search, finance, news and images. But until recently, I was only a quasi-GMail user, mostly because I didn’t want to commit all my e-mail to a third-party service supplier.
As a result, I was using Thunderbird. It was an unorthodox decision because it’s not like Thunderbird plays as nice as other e-mail clients such as Outlook and Entourage. But as an ardent Firefox user, it seemed to make sense to support Mozilla’s e-mail efforts.
Unfortunately, my faith in Thunderbird has gone unrewarded. As much as Firefox has become a vibrant and useful tool, Thunderbird has been stagnant. Firefox has an amazing add-on ecosystem, while Thunderbird’s is almost non-existent. Firefox plays nice with all kinds of other technologies; Thunderbird not so much, including my Blackberry.
Meanwhile, GMail continues to push forward with some cool new wrinkles such as video chat and themes. There’s also an interesting group of companies developing GMail extensions such as Xoopit.
So, I finally took the GMail plunge by making it an e-mail portal for my professional and e-mail accounts. With the help of labels, it’s looks and acts really organized even with thousands of e-mail sitting in the inbox.
It is interesting that Mozilla has dropped the ball when it comes to Thunderbird. It wasn’t until recently that Mozilla gave Thunderbird some much-needed love by spinning it out and providing it with $3-million in start-up financing.
The problem is that it may be a case of too little, too late – at least for me.